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April 17, 2009

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Dear Harrycat: I certainly agree that no "nation building" is desireable in Somalia. For me, the questions are 1. does it represent a national strategic iterest?; and 2. what is the probability of it being accomplished within the capabilities and fortitude of the American people? The price has been high for Bush's war in Iraq, but perhaps it meets both criteria. Obama's war in Afghanistan doesn't seem to meet either criteria - IMHO.

Certainly agree that more needs to be done, perhaps along the lines you suggest. However, we MUST NOT have troops on the ground when we have finished with whatever we are going to do. We already have two wars that show no sign of being over soon. If we maintain a presence who knows what kind of situation we may be drawn into. It has been shown many times that these are the most difficult situations (Vietnam, and of course Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind) and we have not yet shown that we know how to "win".

A second possibility would be to put electronics on each ship to detect attacks, and have a hired security force on each commercial ship going into these waters. With the enormous sums being paid to the hijackers (presumably from insurance) there should be plenty of money to pay for this. Perhaps if we made hijacking much more difficult and deadly the threat may go away.

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